Please read the all the information below carefully.
As we prepare to meet again, we have worked through the regulations and evaluated the options. We are eager to meet but are not in a hurry. We have nothing to prove concerning our love for the Lord by being first or by ignoring the guidelines. We have carefully evaluated the regulations and how we can best meet them. The guidelines are extensive and onerous, but we recognize the need for precautions. Therefore, we are taking a careful, measured approach to reopening, balancing our desire to meet with the need to ensure a safe meeting and submit to the authorities that the Lord has placed over us.
As we come back, things will be different and initially uncomfortable. The structure of services during the phased reopening will be much tighter than we are used to. The casual structure that we typically have will be impossible due to the guidelines we must follow. Please extend grace to us and to everyone else as we work to put together a service that allows us to worship together while ensuring the safety of everyone and adhering to the regulations. This will not be easy, nor comfortable.
There are a number of things that we are used to doing that we will not be able to do. We will not be able to enter as we will nor be able to choose our seating location. Families will be directed when to exit your vehicle and directed to a seating location. Kids cannot run freely and must remain with their parents at your seats. We cannot shake hands or hug. We cannot linger, converse, or fellowship after service as we are used. This is unprecedented and we know it is difficult.
Given the above, we continue to encourage everyone to think carefully about coming to an in-person service during this time. If you feel for any reason that you should not attend, please follow your conscience. Attending against your judgment is not a demonstration of faith. If you feel that now is not the right time for you to come back, please remain home. If any of the requirements would be too difficult for you or your family, please remain home. If you or a member of your family is in one of the higher risk demographics (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#Higher-Risk), please remain home and do not attend. If you have are not feeling well, have any flu-like symptoms, or have recently been in contact with someone known to be positive for COVID-19, please remain home and do not attend.
Given the limited space and ventilation in our facility, we believe that following the government guidelines for Phase 1 Reopening is not feasible. Therefore, we are planning to hold service outside, weather permitting, during Phase 1. We will reevaluate as we go and as new guidance is made available. Our first outdoor service is planned for May 24, 2020 at 10:15am. In order to ensure that we are able keep Sunday morning services operating smoothly, we ask that everyone who plans to attend sign up each week at: Sunday Morning Attendance Form
We will set up on the side of the building (facing Tire Discounters), with congregants facing the building, and will continue to do a shorter than normal service. Please bring your own chairs as we have a limited number of folding chairs. We will ensure that there are 6 feet between each family unit during the service. Someone on hand will direct each family unit to a seating location.
Please park in front of the building and remain in your vehicle until directed by a greeter. The greeter will give instructions on where to go and will ensure that each family maintains appropriate social distance.
Since we will be meeting outside and maintaining social distance, we are not requiring everyone to wear face masks. However, the state recommends that you bring and wear your face masks, even for outdoor events.
We ask that you make every effort to avoid using the restrooms at church, but the first floor restrooms will be open during service if needed. Restrooms will be limited to one person at a time and someone will be on hand to disinfect the restroom after each use.
During Phase 1 of the reopening, we will not be offering childcare, either nursery or children’s church. Please evaluate how your children will be able to handle this situation as you make your decision about attending. If your children are used to having the coloring sheet during service, please bring the necessary materials, as we are unable to provide crayons, clipboard, or coloring sheet.
At this time, we are going to continue to forgo sharing in communion until we can work out a way to do it while meeting the guidelines. We are eager to partake in communion and working through options.
We will not be placing the tithes box in an accessible location during this phase and ask that you continue to use the online giving functionality or mail a check to the church.
Broadcasting the outdoor service will be difficult with our current equipment, but we will attempt to broadcast, at least the sermon, via Facebook. If we can’t broadcast, we will upload the sermon as soon as we can and post links on Facebook.
Alternate: Live Streaming
If the weather does not allow meeting outside on any given Sunday during the phased reopening, we plan to live stream. We will make that announcement Saturday by 6:00 pm each week and communicate the announcement via the Facebook Page, Facebook Group, Facebook Messenger, and church website.
Thank you for your attention to all of these requirements and for your help in adhering to them. Our desire is to be an example to our neighbors of quiet and peaceable submission to the authorities. This too, like the inability to meet, will be temporary. We are excited to be worshipping together again and we continue to look forward with anticipation to our normal gathering. If you have any questions about any of these requirements or about attending, please reach out to us.